The Territory by Sarah Govett
Published April 2015
Published by Firefly Press
The year is 2059. Noa Blake is just another normal 15 year old. Except in the Territory normal isn’t normal. The richest children can download information and bypass the need to study. In a flooded world of dwindling resources, Noa and the other ‘Norms’ have their work cut out to compete. And competing is everything – anybody who fails the TAA exam at 15 will be shipped off to the disease-ridden Wetlands, to a life of misery, if not certain death.
I received this book from Firefly Press in exchange for an honest reviews, all opinions stated are of my own.
When I first got sent The Territory by Firefly Press, I was quite excited because it sounded so original and interesting. Needless to say I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed.
The Territory is a story that opens your eyes to the elitist society we live in and how it impacts the education system.
The story is set in the year 2059 and Noa Blake lives in a ‘supposed’ utopia, except nothing in The Territory is that simple. Each year ‘Norms’ such as Noa are sent to the Wetlands for failing the TAA (the tests that determine your future) and with Freakoids (genetically modified children with the ability to download information) most likely to pass. Noa has her work cut out for her, but surely revision comes easy when death is on the line.
Govett creates a world that very much mirrors our present society, as those with the right capital and social security are more likely to succeed than those without. The Territory somewhat satirises our current state of affairs as the government are seen to be more like dictators as they censor books, music and any other form of entertainment that goes against their message. They seemingly control citizens of the territory through the use of propaganda, which can be seen via the ‘Freakoids’ who are genetically modified to believe and preach all that is spoken by the government *I guess that is one way to prevent a revolution*
In terms of character development, Noa is a ‘norm’ and in this dystopian society known as The Territory, being normal is the worst crime of all as it usually results in an one way to the Wetlands after the TAA. Except Noa is remarkably strong and is determined to pass her exams so that she does not suffer the same fate. And then there’s Raf, a freakoid but unlike any other Noa has seen before… He is smart, loving and a fighter. I loved Raf as I found him to be quite a refreshing character and I can definitely see him in a much larger role in the upcoming books, hopefully at the forefront of an uprising against the Ministry.
One of the things that I liked most about Noa was her vulnerability, she often makes decisions that she regrets and at times questions her own character “I would have killed Anne Frank”. This made Noa a lot more relatable in my opinion as she was shown to be imperfect, something we all are at times.
I loved reading the territory as it reminded an awful lot of the dictatorship we have seen in past historical events e.g the nazi regime in the 30’s and that there is nothing stopping it from happening again. I have to admit that one of the reasons I loved the territory was because I can definitely see a society like this being created in the near future with technology advancing as fast as it is, it is only so long before someone uses it to their advantage.
The ending of the book was perfectly executed and leaves much to the imagination for the second book in the trilogy. This book is a must read and a wonderful addition to your bookshelves.